In this third and final part of the Small Backpack Pattern sew along, we're going to be sewing the applied pocket and doing the final assembly of the bag. Hopefully, everyone has been following along from Part 1, where we cut the small backpack pattern, attached the outside zipper, added the lateral small pockets and made the small inner pocket. Then in Part 2, we sewed the outside zipper, sewed the backpack straps and attached the backpack strap hardware.
Additional Materials for this Section:
- Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 28″ (shorter side)
- Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 29″ (longer side)
- Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 30″ (bottom)
I would highly encourage you to try to make your own bias tape. You can find a great tutorial on just how to do this here: Making Continuous Bias Binding Tape.
Step One: Attaching the front pocket
This pocket detail will make or break your small backpack. It requires a bit of patience and precise stitching. If you are a beginner, take your time doing this step and you will gain an enormous amount of self-confidence.
Below is how to prepare your zipper for the pocket provided on the small backpack pattern. The full video tutorial will be published next Tuesday. In the meantime, you can make the inner pockets and attach the outside zipper.
How to add the zipper to the applied pocket
Cut two tabs at 1″ by 1 1/2″.
Fold the ends of the tab at 1/4″ and pin at both ends of the zipper.
Sew at 1/8″. Pin the top part and lower part of the pocket. Sew at 1/8″ from the teeth of the zipper.Basically, your zipper and tabs should finish with the measurements of the top and bottom of the pocket. So trim the zipper and tabs to be within the edges of the rest of the pocket.On the wrong side of the pocket, box the corners sewing at 1/4″.
Fold 1/4″ around the pocket and pin 1″ from the sides and bottom edge.
Sew the pocket down at 1/8″.
Step Two: Assembling your small backpack
Pin the back side to the gusset. Pin the center first then work on one side then the other. I have placed the straps inside the back pocket and pin the pocket so I do not sew it accidentally.
Sew at 1/4″. Yes, I do use that many pins because I like to simulate a stitch, and I hate to rip so if there is something wrong with the pattern I can change it immediately.
Pin the front to the front side of the small backpack. Work from the middle to the sides as previously mentioned. Note: The extra pocket in the lining shown above. This is optional and there's no pattern. If you want to make this as well, simply tracie the front of the backpack pattern (shown below in red) to the height of pocket you want and then add the hem allowance at the top.
Add the small pocket you made in Part 1 of the sew along to the back and sew at 1/4″.
Step Three: Applying bias tape and closing the small backpack
For the next step on closing the small backpack, we need to make bias tape that is long enough to cover all the exposed seam allowances. Here is a tutorial on how to make your own bias tape. We need 3 strips of bias tape between 28, 29 and 30 inches by 1 3/4″. Pin the bias tape to the raw edges of the backpack and sew at 1/4″.Fold the tape over the seam allowance and sew very close to the edge. Pin the bottom, matching the curve and the corners. This step is the trickiest because we have two rounded corners and two pointed corners. Use as many pins necessary to ensure the bottom fits. If you have sewn all the seams the same size it should.Sew at 1/4″.Pin the tape at one of the sides, folding at the beginning about 1/2″ and ending one inch past the fold. Cut the tape past the fold. This will ensure you will not see a raw edge. Sew at 3/8″.
Fold the tape over the raw edge end pin. Sew very close to the edge. You should hardly be able to see where the tapes join.
And you're done!
This is the end of the sew along, turn your backpack right side out and you are ready to apply a bit of steam here and there to make the seams lie flat. Ready to be worn and enjoyed!
P.S. I think my George doesn't like it, so I will give it to my daughter. I will find something else for him very soon 🙂
Bonus Section: How to draft an easy applied pocket.
While it may look difficult, an applied pocket is actually very easy to draft and sew. This type of pockets is frequently found on leather bags, fashion saddle bags, backpacks, shooting vests, fishing vests, and cargo pants.
This style of applied pocket is one of the easiest of them all. It has an exposed zipper and boxed corner. I will show you how to draft your own pocket to apply it to any size bag, however, the one you need for the small backpack is already included in the pattern.
First, determine how big you want your pocket to be in relation to your backpack. Normally this pocket in a backpack covers the lower half of a backpack.
- draft paper any kind
Trace a rectangle that is as wide (minus 2″) and as long as half of your backpack. Divide this rectangle horizontally into 3 equal parts. Separate the two parts by cutting the first part off. This will become the top of the pocket.
Trace the corners as shown in the picture below. The length of the lines is one inch, this is the industry standard, normally this pocket is not as deep as other applied pockets which I will cover in the future.
Erase the corners and add a 1/4″ seam allowance where the zipper will be sewn.